Man devises kidnapping plot to make victim ‘feel she owes him’

2020-02-12 03:30     Comment:0

A 41-year-old local man who owns a “car beauty shop” devised a plot in which he got three men to kidnap his former secondary school classmate, who is now a married businesswoman, so that after he paid the ransom, she would feel she owes him and admires him, but the police suspect the whole setup was a scam.

Four men have been arrested in the case, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Ho Chan Nam said in a special press conference yesterday.

According to Ho, all the four suspects are locals – the “car beauty shop” owner surnamed Wong, his 23-year-old friend, a car salesman surnamed Loi, and two male friends of the latter, a 24-year-salesman surnamed Lei and a 25-year-old university student surnamed Ng.

According to Ho, the victim, a 40-year-old businesswoman, met up with Wong a year ago at a gathering and they had been seeing each other occasionally. Both knew each other from their years in the same middle school.

Ho said that Wong, the victim and two other friends had dinner in a restaurant in Rua de João de Araújo in the Patane neighbourhood on Sunday. Wong offered to escort the victim home, which is in the nearby Fai Chi Kei neighbourhood.

When they walked along the junction between Travessa dos Estaleiros and Avenida Marginal do Lam Mau, three men in a black people carrier suddenly stopped and abducted the woman, covering her eyes with a facemask and tying her hands with cable ties.

‘Ransom demand’ of 5 million patacas

The plot thickened when Wong phoned the victim and the suspects grabbed her phone and demanded a ransom of five million patacas. Wong said that he only had three million patacas, which they agreed on, so about 30 minutes later, the victim was abandoned on the roadside in Estrada de Sete Tanques near Vivenda Delle Rose on Small Taipa Hill.

The PJ spokesman said that the victim was able to untie herself and went to a nearby residential management office to call her husband for help. Before her husband arrived, Wong appeared at the scene 10 minutes after she was dumped there, and told her that he had paid the three million patacas ransom, but he couldn’t explain how he could get such a large sum of money in such a short period of time.

According to the spokesman, Wong also managed to persuade the victim not to report the incident to the police, but after discussing it with her husband, the victim decided to report the kidnapping to the police.

According to Ho, the Judiciary Police were able to track down the suspects through CCTV camera footage and locate the suspects and the people carrier, and they also discovered that the car registration number was false. The four suspects were arrested one after another in three locations, namely Travessa das Verdades in the city centre, Avenida do Nordeste in Areia Preta district and Avenida Marginal do Lam Mau yesterday.

Setup for possible scam later

According to Ho, Wong claimed he had set the plot up so that he could rescue the “kidnap” victim thus creating an impression so that the victim would owe him a favour, and admire him, but the police suspect that it was a setup for a possible scam later.

Ho added that the three other suspects told the police that Wong had said he would give them 200,000 patacas each for carrying out the kidnapping, but they didn’t get paid.

Ho pointed out that the student enrolled in a university in Cotai participated in the crime while classes have been suspended during the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) epidemic.

The case has been transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) for further investigation. The four suspects face arraignments on variety of charges such as kidnapping, fraud involving a considerably huge amount – officially defined as exceeding 150,000 patacas, and forgery.

According to Article 154 of the Penal Code, kidnapping is punishable by a prison term of between three and 10 years. According to Article 211, fraud involving a considerably huge amount is punishable by a prison term of between two and 10 years. According to Article 247, forgery of a vehicle registration plate is punishable by a prison term of up to three years or a fine.

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